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President George W. Bush has often been criticized for failing to seek out dissenting views, but the same can’t be said for his supporters at The Federalist Society. Among the panelists at the group’s 2005 National Lawyers Convention was Melvyn Weiss of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, one of the nation’s most prominent plaintiffs lawyers. “You people, you cherry-pick the issues that you want to federalize,” Weiss told a silent audience of Federalists last week, citing recent legislation that would limit lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Weiss’ panel, in the gilt ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel, was followed by a speaker greeted much more warmly, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, whose speech to the American Bar Association 20 years ago spurred the movement toward an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. Meese offered veiled criticisms of Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy, whose “so-called international jurisprudence is both a sham and a fraud,” he said. “Their use of foreign law reminds one of the old story of the drunk leaning against the lamppost. He uses it more for support than light.”
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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